Agha Sahab ( Agha Ashraf Ali), passed away at the age of 94 on the 7th of August, 2020.
I was lucky to know Agha Sahab closely because of his intimate connection with Jamia Millia Islamia and our long standing family friendship. He would come down to Delhi in the winter and spend a lot of time at my parents home, drinking tea in the winter sun. But I got to know him as a friend when I started visiting Srinagar from 1999 onwards, for programmes being conducted being by the NGO I worked with . My trips would remain incomplete if I did not visit him.
Statements of support for the students’ struggle against the CAA and NRC continue to pour in. We will try and keep publishing as many as we can. In this post is a statement from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
We, the students, faculty, alumni and scholars of the University of British Columbia, and the South Asian community in Vancouver, strongly condemn the police violence unleashed on students protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens of India, across universities in India. Specifically, we condemn the police brutality on Muslim students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University where the excessive violence of police machinery is reflective of the Islamophobia of the present government. We strongly oppose the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act which inherently discriminates citizenship for Muslims on religious grounds. The Act provides citizenship to six religious minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while it explicitly leaves out Muslims. Citizenship Amendment Act (passed on December 11, 2019) along with National Register of Citizens of India and National Population Register will bring about systematic displacement and dispossession of two hundred million Muslims in India as their citizenship will be put to test and they can be easily rendered stateless. Continue reading Support for Struggling Students from University of British Columbia→
Ghalib has fascinated generations of people and they have tried to understand/ interpret his poetry in their own way. For any such individual it is really difficult to recollect when and how Ghalib entered her/ his life and ensconced himself comfortably in one’s heart.
This wanderer still faintly remembers how many of Ghalib’s shers were part of common parlance even in an area whose lingua franca is not Hindustani. His andaaz-e-bayaan, his hazaron khwahishein, his making fun of the priest etc. could be discerned in people’s exchanges – without most of them even knowing that they were quoting the great poet.
To be very frank, to me, it is bewildering that a poet – who died over 150 years back – looks so contemporary or at times even a little ahead of our own times. Is it because, he talks about primacy of human being, at times philosophising about life, and on occasions talking about rebelling against the existing taboos in very many ways? But then have not many other great poets have dealt with the same subjects/ topics? Continue reading ‘Why Ghalib appears so contemporary even today ?’ : Interview with Hasan Abdullah→
Its best to stay as far aways as possible when two mafia dons meet to talk business. Especially when their deep state security detail has a disturbing tendency to shoot first and ask questions after. Today, Delhi’s roads are emptier than usual, even on a Sunday. And I am reading Nazim Hikmet, because a thug is coming to town.
What exactly happened in Jamia Millia Islamia on 13th August?
The sequence of events:
Just two days before Independence Day, all the hostel residents were informed personally by the administrative authorities to be careful as there may be some raid by IB or CBI or Delhi Police. Students were instructed not to keep any non-resident student in the hostel.
While it is okay to instruct students not to keep any non-resident student in the hostel, what is problematic is the atmosphere of fear that was created among students. Many of the students were told to be careful regarding ‘KASHMIRI STUDENTS’ in particular.
The hostel authorities repeatedly instructed the students not to come out of their rooms and to be careful.